Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Many Hands Make Lightning-Fast Work - Thanks to WWOOFers, Arborcidal Maniacs & Mosaicists

Warning: Extremely  photo-heavy post!
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at Squash Blossom Farm, with a host of hardworking guests. In addition to Jessica, our summer-long  WWOOFer intern, who has been gardening and baking like crazy every week for the Farmers Market,
we had WOOFer Nicolle for a week. Some people might choose to vacation on a tropical island, but Nicolle opted to spend her vacation week doing hard, physical. farm labor, including the spring mucking of the loafing shed, cleaning the hay room of the barn and weeding in the greenhouse.
She topped off her WWOOFing week trying her hand at some baking  and selling goodies at the Farmers Market with Jessica and Rog.
The past two weeks we have had three young WWOOFers from Pennsylvania: Ross, Evelyn and Anna. They are high school seniors WOOFing for their senior project.  Their first task was to finish weeding the greenhouse that Nicolle had started, and today they mulched all the greenhouse paths --it is now so spectacular it brings a tear to my eye! Here are a few projects these three  have accomplished:
Finished painting the fence and arbor.
Painted the garage and trim!
Spring-cleaned the chicken coop (power-washing the inside!) and prepared it to for the new baby chicks.
Helped unpack the chicks and make sure each one got a drink of water.
Gave the old Willys truck a wash
and cleaned the inside - it is now ready to sell!
Helped make sourdough breads for market...

 and learned how to make wood-fired pizzas.
Decorated  molasses farm animal cookies for market.
Split, hauled and stacked  LOTs of wood.
Burned lots of brush.
Took charge of our stamd at the Farmers Market last Saturday.
Sneaked in an occasional well-deserved rest. Plus, plenty of work I do not have photos of (roto-tilling the veggie garden, planting tomatoes in the garden and zucchinis in straw bales, rooting out 2 dead apple trees and planting replacements, cleaning out the north end of the barn...) They also got to visit a few other nearby farms - Shepard’s Buffalo Farm on the day the bison got released to pasture,  Kuhlmanns' dairy during morning milking, and Hellers' farm to hold a newborn lamb.  We introduced them to some midwest food delicacies: rhubarb, lefse, deviled eggs, gyros, hummus, grilled brats....  It has been a joy having you here, Ross, Anna and Evelyn, and we so appreciate all your industrious work.  Hope you  return to visit someday!
But wait! That is not all! Last weekend we were invaded by a crew of Arborcidal Maniacs,  friends from the UU church who love any excuse to play with chainsaws and other serious tools.  With a rented scissors lift,  they trimmed up the big old  silver maples brushing across the barn roof, removed two  trees growing right up through the old flowering crab apple trees, and cut off storm-damaged limbs from the row of big ash trees.

But wait! There is still more!  The artists who did the amazing mosaic designs on the Mike Podulke Memorial Oven returned to mosaic the bottom section of the oven.

 The WWOOFers even got in on a bit of mosaic.
We still need to grout. This is the front of the oven.
The barn side....
 The garden side...
the pond side...

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for so generously offering your time, muscles and creativity, dear friends. What you all accomplished in a couple afternoons would have taken us all summer to do. No amount of wood-fired pizza and wine can adequately repay you.

We are now nearly ready for Summer Sundays at Squash Blossom Farm, beginning this weekend!

1 comment:

Marcia said...

You have had a busy couple of weeks.

I got the peppers and 1 tomato planted. The other tomato was completely broken off but I didn't notice it until I planted. Not a survivor. Don't bother sending a replacement - I have enough tomatoes here!

Still need to plant the herbs.